Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Rakuten acquires voice, messaging service Viber for $900M

updated 07:58 am EST, Fri February 14, 2014

Skype competitor purchased by Japanese e-commerce giant

Japanese retailer Rakuten has acquired Cyprus-based VoIP and messaging service Viber. The purchase, worth a total of $900 million, will see the Japanese Internet giant take control of Skype's biggest competitor, with the company claiming the purchase of Viber "perfectly complements Rakuten's strategy in the digital space" in its bid to become the "world's No.1 Internet services company."

Viber currently operates in close to 100 countries and boasts almost 300 million users since its launch in 2011. Though it has a vocal focus when compared to Line and other similar mobile and desktop messaging systems, the acquisition not only expands Rakuten's interests, but also increases the user base from its existing 225 million registered members, and expands the company's interests further abroad from its home country.



Speaking about the purchase to Recode, co-founder and CEO of Rakuten Hiroshi Mikitani claimed "This is a no-brainer. Messaging apps are taking over the world, and while search is one of the strongest platforms, what is happening in communications is very, very important." Mikitani continued by pointing out that, though the company offers various content, gaming, and commerce services, adding a communication product "can make buying more secure, but also more human."

Aside from its central e-commerce operations, Rakuten is also an invester in Pinterest, and owns video service Viki and e-book reader manufacturer Kobo.



By Electronista Staff
Post tools:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

IDrive cloud backup and sync service

There are a lot of cloud services out there, and nearly all of them can be used for backing up key files and folders. A few dedicated ...

Asus Chromebook C300

When Chromebooks hit the market back in 2011, consumers didn't know what to do with them. The low-cost laptops, powered by Google's Ch ...

Plantronics BackBeat Pro Bluetooth headphones

Looking for a pair of headphones that can do everything a user requires is a task that can take some study. Trying to decide on in-ear ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News